by Jesse Collier

Everyone who meets Andy and hears about his experience immediately understands why he is such a valuable member of the Exym team. Andy took some time to discuss his start as a therapist, the behavioral health industry, and his advice for mental health professionals.

 

First, would you share your professional experience prior to becoming a part of Exym?

My first career was as a music therapist in Washington State. Because there were less than 20 music therapists at the time and minimal funding, that meant I was running my own practice while also working other jobs in Non-Profit and Service. The short list of roles I co-worked during this time was: Barista, Events Coordinator, Caretaker for a historical building, Residential Counselor, Paraprofessional, and finally Development Associate where I was fundraising for an inclusive school. During this time, I met a lot of donors who were working in tech. Some of them encouraged me to step into tech, and I began exploring entry-level roles. This led me to a Sales Development role at a small startup in Seattle. Since then, I’ve been working in B2B SaaS and have been an Account Executive, Sales Manager, Sales Enablement Manager, and most recently, built and managed a Customer Success/Support team during the pandemic when sales slowed down. The teams I’ve supported in this time have existed in the FinTech and HR Tech spaces.

 

How do you feel your previous experience as a therapist helped shape your journey to Exym EHR software?

Having a background as a therapist has helped me approach sales as a partnership rather than a transaction: I bring reflective listening and motivational interviewing practices into all my conversations in sales, often needing to challenge cognitive dissonance and reframe problems into various outcomes and solutions. I work with people experiencing a pain point who want a tool, like Exym, but don’t have the authority and need coaching on how to navigate their own internal organizational structure to get their request approved.

 

What is something you would like to see changed in the behavioral health industry?

So many things! I’m fairly radical in my views, but I’ll stick to the concept that healthcare (including mental-healthcare) is a human right and should be provided for all citizens, and that those providing those services should be paid a wage that allows them to survive, thrive, and attract their peers to the field so that there is an appropriate number of providers relative to the need of the community.

 

What do you feel is the top challenge a mental health professional faces?

Burnout and how to afford continuing their profession.

 

How does Exym support behavioral health professionals?

I could (and do) talk about this for hours, so I’ll tell my own story to keep it short: When I worked in a residential setting, we had a very unstable environment, which lead to riots, injuries, and eventually the shutdown of the facility. One of the daily causes for this was a lack of any ability to transfer knowledge from one shift to the next except by word of mouth, and even the clinicians had no way to share with the milieu staff if a difficult session had been provided. Had there been an easy, useful, and informative way to track and reference these concepts, it would have been a much safer environment that provided a meaningful service. A tool like Exym (EHR software) prevents and resolves situations like that.

 

What is one tip you would give to therapist and other mental health professionals starting their career?

You are in a competitive industry right now and, while you may want to give your entire self to a specific population, it’s a long career. Pace yourself and make sure that you find a job where you feel taken care of financially, emotionally, and within your professional development. Find a place that’s willing to invest in you and your team. Or, even better, a place that invests by giving you useful resources… like Exym 😉